How to Make Shaker-Style Window Trim

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Shaker-style trim, with its clean, simple lines, is close in appearance to American craftsmen styles that grew out of the Shaker tradition. This style of trim is typically similar inside and out. It has a wide, flat board surrounding the window with a slight lip around the outside. The goal of Shaker design is to avoid ostentatious and fancy elements in favor of simpler things. This style of trim works well on older homes and architectural styles reminiscent of the late Victorian era, which is best represented by the quintessential American farm house.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 by 6 hardwood lumber
  • 1 by 4 hardwood lumber
  • 1 by 3 hardwood lumber
  • 1/8 by ¾ inch screen molding
  • Squeeze clamps
  • Tape measure
  • Miter saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Finish nails
  • Hammer
  • Apply a bead of wood glue along the back side of a piece of 1/8 inch thick by ¾ inch wide screen molding 8 foot long. Align one long edge of the screen molding with one long edge of an 8 foot hardwood 1 by 6 board. Clamp the molding to the hardwood with four squeeze clamps, evenly spaced along the board. Repeat with each hardwood board. Leave the clamps in place for six hours.

  • Release the clamps. Sand the trim boards with 150 grit sandpaper. Sand enough 1 by 4 hardwood lumber to run along the bottom of each window plus 11 inches. Sand the same quantity of 1 by 3 hardwood lumber.

  • Measure the first window jamb horizontally outside to outside. Cut one piece of 1 by 6 trim board with 45-degree miters at each end. Cut the miters so that the short side is on the long edge opposite the screen molding. Cut the distance between the short ends of the miters ½ inch wider than the width of the window jamb, inside to inside. Nail the board to the window jamb header, ¼ inch above the bottom edge. Center it width wise. Use one finish nail every 8 to 10 inches.

  • Measure from the top of the window jamb sill to the short end of the miters on either side. Cut one 1 by 6 trim board to fit each side, with a 45-degree miter at the top end of each piece, one right and one left, with the miter angles so that the long end is on the screen molding edge. Fit these side trim boards along the side jambs, ¼ inch from the inside edge of the jamb. The miters will be matched up to the miters on the top horizontal trim boards and the flat bottom ends, even with the top edge of the window jamb sill.

  • Cut a piece of 1 by 3 to fit with its ends even with the outside edges of the side trim boards you just installed. Position the 1 by 3 underneath the side trim, flush at each end with one narrow edge against the front edge of the bottom window jamb sill. Nail up through the 1 by 3 into the bottom ends of the side trim. Use three nails in each side.

  • Measure and cut a piece of 1 by 4 the same length as the 1 by 3. fit it against the bottom face of the 1 by 3 and nail it to the wall. Repeat for every window. Do the same for the outside of each window, leaving out the 1 by 3 and nailing the 1 by 4 to the bottom sill of the window jamb.

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References

  • "Shaker Style"; John S Bowman; 1995
  • "Trim Carpentry"; Clayton DeKorne; 2008
  • Photo Credit lumber image by Kimberly Reinick from Fotolia.com
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